UFC fighters along with also also NFL cheerleaders could not be more different. although look at their job descriptions, along with also also they have something in common: Both are classified as independent contractors. Not as employees.
The distinction can be significant. the item means that will neither fighters nor cheerleaders get the guaranteed pay along with also also benefits that will employees are entitled to under the law.
UFC fighters sign individual contracts with the company that will only cover certain fights. Those deals vary in terms of how much individuals are guaranteed to make for fighting, along with also also how much they’ll get if they win. The contracts also include limited health insurance.
although that will means there are large chunks of time when the fighters are unpaid along with also also uninsured.
In contrast, pros within the NFL along with also also NBA are employees of a particular team through the length of their contracts, which typically last for a season or more, along with also also always cover all of the extra events that will they have to attend.
While the NFL cheerleaders are fighting just to make minimum wage, some of the top UFC fighters can make hundreds of thousands of dollars — sometimes even millions — for winning a bout. although most of the fighters make very little unless they win.
Related: NFL cheerleaders win ruling in fight for better wages
Fighters have complained about the fact that will they’re treated like employees without any of the benefits.
They say they often have to make UFC appearances without getting paid. They are also required to check in for random drug tests along with also also to fight wearing gear through Reebok — the UFC’s official partner — even if they personally have different sponsors.
“Controlling things like uniforms along with also also requiring drug tests could mean that will a worker can be being treated as an employee,” said employment attorney Christopher Marlborough. “If you hire someone to paint your house, you’re contracting them — you can’t control what they wear. If they’re your employee that will’s different — you have more control over what they do.”
Several UFC fighters have brought a class action anti-trust lawsuit against UFC that will alleges the company uses its dominance from the space to, among different things, keep fighter pay low. The UFC recently lost its appeal to contain the case thrown out.
Related: brand-new York Jets settle wage lawsuit with cheerleaders
Neither UFC fighters nor cheerleaders have been able to successfully form a union to help establish collective bargaining agreements.
although the NFL cheerleaders have used another tactic to demand better wages along with also also rights — they’ve sued for the right to be labeled an employee.
Cheerleaders for the Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills along with also also brand-new York Jets have all sued their teams — most have settled.
The Raiders cheerleaders reached a settlement for $1.25 million along with also also the Buccaneers agreed to a $825,000 settlement.
California passed a law classifying cheerleaders as employees, generating them eligible for at least the minimum wage.
The Buffalo Jills won the right to bring a class action suit against their employer, along with also also a decision in that will case can be expected by the end of 2016.
sy88pgw (brand-new York) First published November 19, 2016: 9:34 AM ET